Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+

Tonka Hemingway

  • position DT
  • height 6-3
  • weight 288
  • class Fifth Year
  • Hometown Conway, S.C.
  • High school Conway
  • position DT
  • height 6-3
  • weight 288
  • class Fifth Year
  • Hometown Conway, S.C.
  • High school Conway

Tonka Hemingway Bio

2024 Harold White GPA Award – Defense

2024 Gamecock Toughness Award – Defense

2023 Second-Team All-SEC (College Football Network)

2023 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll

2022 Second-Team All-SEC (Phil Steele)

2022 Third-Team All-SEC (ProFootballFocus)

2022 Outstanding Student-Athlete Award

2022 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll

2022 Harold White GPA Award – Defense

2021 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll

2021 Gamecock Toughness Award – Defense

υ 2020-21 SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll

Defensive lineman who is taking advantage of a fifth year of eligibility due to COVID-19… figures to be a leader and key performer for the Carolina defense in 2024… tough guy who fights through injuries… can play both inside and on the edge… also an excellent performer on special teams… has appeared in all 48 games over the last four seasons with 17 starts… owns 13.5 career tackles for loss with 5.5 sacks, 10 pass breakups, 13 quarterback hurries and four fumble recoveries… has scored a touchdown and also scored on a two-point conversion… presented with the Harold White GPA Award for the defense and the Gamecock Toughness Award for the defense in the spring.

2023 (Senior)

Veteran defensive lineman who saw action in all 12 games, starting five… earned second team All-SEC honors from College Football Network… recorded 32 tackles with 4.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks… credited with seven pass breakups, six quarterback hurries and a pair of fumble recoveries, tops in the SEC… scored a rushing touchdown from two-yards out against Jacksonville State… also had four tackles including a tackle for loss, one fumble recovery and a pass breakup against the Gamecocks… matched his career-high with five tackles against Tennessee… finished the Vanderbilt game with a career-high tying five tackles and also batted down three passes for a new career high in breakups… came up big in the final quarter against Kentucky, scooping up a fumble, then batting down the 4th-down attempt to seal the win… was one of three players to represent South Carolina at the annual SEC Media Days… named to the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll.

2022 (Junior)

Played in all 13 games starting nine… named second-team All-SEC by Phil Steele and earned a spot on the PFF Third Team All-SEC squad… one of three players presented with the Outstanding Student-Athlete Award at the team banquet… also was the 2022 Harold White GPA Award… logged 33 tackles overall… was second on the squad with 8.0 tackles for loss while leading the team with 4.0 sacks… also credited with six quarterback hurries and a pass breakup… had a nose for the football, recovering fumbles in back-to-back games against Kentucky and Texas A&M… credited with four tackles including 1.5 sacks and the fumble recovery at Kentucky… notched season- and career-highs with five tackles including 2.0 tackles for loss against Missouri… showed his versatility and skills by running in a two-point conversion against South Carolina State and hauling in a 16-yard pass reception for a first down on a fake field goal against Vanderbilt… named to the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll.

2021 (Sophomore)

Defensive lineman who transitioned to the interior of the line in the spring… saw action in all 13 games… credited with six tackles including four solo stops… earned the Gamecock Toughness Award for the defense in the spring as selected by the coaches… named to the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll.

2020 (Freshman)

Saw action in all 10 games, making three starts at defensive end in his first season with the Garnet & Black… made his collegiate debut in the season-opener against Tennessee and credited with a pass break up… credited with his first tackle and a forced fumble at Florida… made his first career start in the win over Auburn… responded with a pass break up and a quarterback hurry in that contest… notched his first tackle for loss in a start at LSU… logged a season high with four tackles against Texas A&M… started at Kentucky and matched his high with four tackles… named to the SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll.


Graduated from Conway (S.C.) High School in 2020… played on both sides of the ball… recorded 92 tackles including 24.0 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks as a defensive lineman… also served as the team’s punter… the Tigers lost in the first round of the South Carolina Class AAAAA state playoffs in 2019… selected to the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas… named first team all-state by the South Carolina coaches in 2019 and a three-time USA TODAY first-team all-state selection… collected 201 career tackles with 49 tackles for loss and 13 sacks… coached by Carlton Terry… one of just six finalists nationally for the 29th Annual Watkins Award given by The National Alliance of African American Athletes to the top African American male HS scholar-athlete… also played basketball and baseball for the Tigers, earning first-team all-state honors on the hardwood after averaging 20 points per game… was a two-time Region VI-5A Player of the Year…helped the Tigers reach the lower state basketball finals for the first time in history… invited to the North-South All-Star basketball game… Rivals considered him the sixth-best player in the Palmetto State and the 18th-best strongside defensive end in the country… listed as the fifth-best player in South Carolina, the 30th-best defensive tackle in the country and No. 301 overall in the 247Sports Composite rankings… considered the No. 184 player in the country in the ESPN300.


Terrell H. “Tonka” Hemingway was born Oct. 31, 2001… graduated in December 2023 with a degree in public health… represented football on SAAC during 2022-23 and will again in 2023-24… comes from an athletic family… brother, Junior, played football at Michigan and for the NFL Kansas City Chiefs… sister, Shamae, played basketball at Coker College… sister, Janecia, pitched on the Francis Marion softball team.